10 Secrets from the Mayan Civilization that Will Leave You Dumbstruck

The Mayan Empire was centrally based in the tropical lowland that is now known as Guatemala. It was in the 6th century AD that they hit their peak in terms of influence and power. Some of the main areas in which they were renowned for were their amazing architecture, symbolic artwork, the creation of calendars, hieroglyphics, pottery and agriculture.

By approximately 900 AD, the majority of the massive stone cities they Mayans had were abandoned with the reasons why being debated at lengths over the years by historians. In historical terms, the Mayans are one of the most brilliant and successful civilisations. Researchers have been working hard for years to try and unravel some of the mysteries surrounding this group of people and here are 10 amazing secrets they have uncovered so far.

Mystery Of The Maya Blue Pigment And Its Unusual Chemical Composition – History Collection

10. Maya Blue Recipe

One of the things that the Mayans held in high esteem was a particular shade of blue, as they believed that it was a significant color for a couple of reasons. It has since been dubbed Maya Blue and was utilized to cover codices, palace walls and pots. Whenever there was a human sacrifice carried out, the body was also covered in third color. Scientists have figured out that the main ingredients in this color were palygorskite and indigo, but there was still a final ingredient which they could not figure out.

It wasn’t until 2008 that a team of researchers from the United States had their study published in which they made claims that this secret ingredient for Maya Blue was copal resin.  A few years later in 2013, another study came out that claimed this theory was false. This team of researchers were of the belief that this final ingredient was actually dehydroindigo, as opposed to copal resin.

They also believed that the Mayans were able to get the exact hue of blue they wanted by changing the temperature when they were preparing it. One of the most interesting aspects of this color is that it proved to be extremely resistant to weathering. Despite the length of time and harsh weather conditions, a lot of the remaining artifacts on which Mayan Blue are seen, they have been preserved remarkably well. It has even seen to be resistant to different forms of acids and chemical solvents like nitric acid.